Tic-Tac-Toe Government

TicTacToe Obama croppedx

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Our President says he must play this way because of the way Congress plays.

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TicTacToe Demo-Repub open cropO

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TicTacToe Demo-Repub end game crop

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Another Cat’s Game — from blocking instead of creating winning solutions

TicTacToe grid Jesus Christ crop

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Satan put away!  No opposition.

“Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne and over His kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from this time on and forever.
The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
Isaiah 9:7 New International Version

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FUN FACT: You wouldn’t believe how many hours of editing it has taken me to get these jpegs and text to line up somewhat like I wanted them to be laid out because of the limits of this free theme.  Subscribers received a version which had some errors I’ve now been able to fix, so I encourage you to have another look.  It’s a good thing we moose are very patient diurnal critters as we stand out here in the bog all day.  Then at sunrise and sunset we are especially very active at standing out here in the bog!

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Count It All As Nought and Crosses

Stuck somewhere in waiting mode and somebody scrounges up paper and draws a hangman. The challenge is too much for Hangman Moose to resist! He quickly guesses their “Clint Eastwood” without so much as losing his head.

Now it’s Superhero’s turn. This is the name of a road _ _ _ _ _ _ . And nobody ever guesses this odd-named road between Baker and Barstow on the California Interstate 15. They lose head, body, 2 arm and a leg finding out there are no vowels! No A, E, I, O, U! Unless they luck out and guess the 3 correct letters, Hangman Moose will leave ‘em hangin’ high faster than Clint Eastwood ever did!

Curtis Howe Springer made up this name for his community in 1944 claiming it to be the last word in the English language. Today travelers just stare in amazement at the Interstate exit sign as they speed on to Las Vegas.

Correct spelling will be given at the bottom of this post. Can you resist peeking?

Not realizing this one great word is the only one Hangman Moose has up his sleeve, so to speak since I go around shirtless, the awed player makes a huge strategic miscalculation and switches games. He draws 2 vertical lines crossed by 2 horizontal lines, and then draws an “O” in one of the 9 spaces. Big moosestake! The desperate player has no clue that he’s just summoned a far superior Superhero, Tic-Tac-Toe Moose!

Our Superhero doesn’t even know that Tic-Tac-Toe was played in Egypt around 1300 B.C. and that similar grid games show up in ancient carvings of the Roman Empire.

He doesn’t know that there are 765 essentially different positions (state space complexity) or 26,830 possible games up to rotations and reflections (game tree complexity).

He doesn’t know about Noughts and Crosses or 9-Man Morris.

But he knows the winning strategy:

1) If the offense doesn’t take the middle, the defense should.

Corollary: If offense takes #2 and defense blocks in 4, 6, 7 or 9 instead of middle, offense can win. Same goes for the other 3 inside spots. Defense should avoid confusion and always take the middle if it’s untaken.

2) If offense takes the center, defense must block with an outside corner, not one of the four inside spots.

If both combatants know these simple rules, game after game ends in Cat’s Game until our Superhero outlasts by sheer German disciplined persistence!

So for now the best ol’ Broose can hope for is to bask in the fleeting glory of Hangman Moose or especially as Tic-Tac-Toe Moose. But like Paul I’ve counted it all for nought and crosses (Php. 3:8). I take up my cross daily and follow the One crucified (Matt. 10:38).

And I wait for that glorious day drawing ever closer in these perilous times when my change comes at the 7th Trumpet to a glorified eternal spiritual body with all the fullness of Christ!

Now talk about a Superhero! Yes, one who is a humble, obedient, Christ-centered servant leader eager to serve with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Family for whatever they have in mind forever. Forget about Donatello, Spiderman, or Batgirl! We’ll see what new name awaits (Rev. 3:12)!

Zyzzyx!

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FUN FACT: Our glory is our huge rack stretching 4 to 5 feet across and weighing about 85 pounds. Our antlers start to grow in early summer, covered with soft fuzzy skin called velvet. This velvet is filled with blood vessels that deliver nutrients to help the antlers grow. By late summer, the antlers have reached full size so the blood supply dries up and the velvet drops off. When mating season is over — it can make a grown bull cry — the antlers fall off! It’s all for nought! Except mice and rodents rejoice as they gnaw on the fallen antlers for calcium.

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On the Road Again

Start a car trip and it won’t be long before somebody starts singing “On the Road Again.” In 1981 Willie Nelson was nominated for Best Original Song for this catchy tune from his movie of the same name.

In the Bible two pivotal events happened on the road.

First was on the road to Emmaus, a town about 7 miles from Jerusalem, when the just resurrected Christ appeared to two disciples as they walked along discussing the incredible events they had just witnessed. Christ opened their minds to realize they were walking with the one resurrected (Luke 24:31-32)! “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road,and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

Then when they arrived home in Jerusalem to meet with other Christians, Christ “opened their understanding that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45). In the previous verse Jesus specified the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. The very Scriptures many people want to believe are done away!

Once in a Bible Study a friend who came that night as a visitor — seeking to know God finally in her 60s, and with a Bible picked up that afternoon at a thriftstore — suddenly started beaming wide-eyed at the moment the minister quoted that verse. Later she told me that God opened her mind to understand what she was hearing from the Bible and she was eager to respond!

Second was on the road to Damascus — Syria-ously not a road to be on today! In Acts 9 Paul was struck down blind by God and turned around 180 degrees from on his way to persecuting Christians to on his way to making and growing them!

Both roads need to be retraveled. Walking with the One resurrected! Praying to have our minds opened every time we are about to study God’s Bible. Being renewed in the Spirit every day to be changed from the old man to the new man in Christ (Eph. 4:22-24).

Such privilege makes me start Waylon: “On the road again! Goin’ places that I’ve never been. See’in things that I may never see again.”

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FUN FACT: Being on the road again gives me the Willies! It can be dangerous for us both. In Alaska moose are the #1 collider with cars. You often get the worst end of the deal!

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His “Bless You” Was Nothing to Sneeze At!

Israel clamored for a king just like all the nations. Who’d they get for their George Washington, who is famous for admitting “I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down the cherry tree.” Saul says sheepishly “I’ve been a baaaaaaaaad boy!”

However, Saul says he’s been given a bad rap and falsely accused of trying to kill David; he claims he was only innocently offering a stick of gum: a Spearmint for David. To futher gum up the works, Adam and Eve fell for a Juicy Fruit.

One of the most hilarious stories in the Bible is the one about Baalim. He was a powerful, revered religious figure. His “bless you” was nothing to sneeze at. He wanted to bless the enemies of Israel so badly and enjoy their wonderful bribes, but like all evil from Satan on down, he could only do what God allowed him to get away with. In this case, being ceremoniously undone by the beast of burden he was riding. The critter talks to Baalim! And he is so caught up in the mayhem at the moment that he doesn’t see anything unusual in that and he carries on a dialog! What a hoot! Do I hear somebody intoning “Let us bray!”

The funniest thing I’ve read in the New Testament is where right after Jesus just got through resurrecting his friend Lazarus from the grave, his enemies plotted how they might kill Lazarus (John 12:10). What? He won’t resurrect him again!? OK, I guess they were plotting to kill Jesus first so He wouldn’t be around to bring up Lazarus again. What? You try to kill somebody Who has power to resurrect people! Well, God allowed mankind to pull that one off.

Seriously, so foolish and deceived to kill the Son of God? If I had been there, would I have shouted for His crucifixion? I’d like to think that I would have been one of the disciples. Yeah, the ones who all fled or ate crow. Then or now, I killed Him. If I were the only one who ever lived, my sins killed Him. His grace is unfathomable and unearnable but it will never be cheap. May I walk, with the help of His Holy Spirit, just as He walked (I John 2:6).

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FUN FACT: Jacob had it coming after all the times he tricked and deceived others, but I can empathize with Jacob waking up to find he was with Leah instead of Rachel because we have poor eyesight. To keep safe here in the bog, we rely on our keen sense of hearing and smell. Our big ears rotate for stereophonic reception. People describe our faces as long and heavy — probably like Jacob’s when he discovered the switcheroo!

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Armageddon: The Battle That Doesn’t Exist

The man of God would thunder with authority: “Blow the dust off your Bible and read for yourself what it really says.” The first time I did that didn’t lead to much of a discovery: “The King James Bible.” But once past the cover, it has become a lifetime of daily surprise.

With all the bad news bombarding us daily, we hear talk about the Battle of Armageddon and the end of the world. We’ve heard it all our life, even out here in the bog, but that doesn’t make it so. Believe it or not, Armageddon is the battle that doesn’t exist.

Even at the risk of causing another Dust Bowl, see for yourself in Rev. 16:13-16. Armageddon means “har-Megiddo.” Har means hill rather than something to laugh at, and nobody will be amused at this very sad and terrifying time for humanity. Kings of the earth and their armies will “gather” in Megiddo for “the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” Historically lots of battles have been fought here. But not this time.

Precisely put, they gather here but the battle will take place elsewhere. Where?

Megiddo is about 55 miles north of Jerusalem The kings and their armies will mobilize down to the Kidron Valley that runs north and south between the Mount of Olives and the eastern gate of Jerusalem. This makes perfect logistical sense since at His return Jesus is going to stand on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4). And you would think He will majestically make a triumphant royal processional walk on into Jerusalem through the Lion of Judah eastern gate that is walled up and reserved for His arrival.

My hooves have stood on the Mount of Olives and walked down to the wall, which is close enough to be the standard for a Sabbath day’s journey and to hardly break a sweat. Of course, if Jesus chooses to just pop on over, who will stop Him!

Not the armies which are merely like grapes clustered in the valley and destined to be stomped in the winepress of His wrath. How do they think they even have a chance fighting the Son of God, except through strong delusion by the one who relentlessly keeps up his losing cause.

Joel 3:11-16 and Zech. 14:12-15 warn about this earth-shaking battle. Joel says the Kidron Valley is also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat. Things will be a-jumpin’ there!

Joel also calls it “the valley of decision.” Anybody who gathers in Megiddo or shows up for the Battle of Jehoshaphat in the Kidron Valley has already made the wrong decision!

For anybody fighting Christ, it will be the end of the world! But otherwise the very reason Jesus returns just in the nick of time is to prevent the end of all flesh for the elect’s sake (Matt. 24:13) and to begin “the restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21).

When all the dust settles, we’ll all be breathing a lot easier.

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FUN FACT: Gather and battle? Though we sometimes roam in small groups during summer, and sometimes form large herds in winter, we are generally solitary. Until the irresistible cows make us gather and battle with our horns for mating supremacy in September-October. After that is not the end of the world. We just go our separate ways until the following year and do it all over again!

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Do We No the Bible?

Are you one who really wants to know the Bible? Glad you do because there aren’t many moose, I can tell you that! You can feel like the Lone Ranger, and I doubt he nor Tonto did much hi-ho study away!   When you read challenging statements in the Bible, how do you answer:

— “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1)
No, science says life evolved and God probably guided evolution.”

Never mind no intermediate species have been found which Darwin said would be the refutation of his theory. Never mind Darwin confided in writing that he loved playing practical jokes on the unsuspecting. Never mind that every day more and more top scientists are stating that even the simplest life is too complex to have evolved and that the odds against evolution are too many 10 to the zeroes to even be a possibility.

— “All scripture is inspired by God …” (2 Tim. 3:16)
No, not that harsh outdated law-touting Old Testament which is just a collection of myths and stories and is done away anyway.”

Never mind that when Paul wrote this verse to Timothy, “all scripture” was the Old Testament.

— “Satan, who deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12:9) and “You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44)
No, this is my Father’s world and to my listening ear — it’s such a beautiful reassuring song until I start wondering why God allows so much evil.”

Never mind that Satan is the god of this age who has blinded unbelievers who choose his way (2 Cor. 4:4) and free moral agency is one of the best gifts God has given us.

— “[Forgive a brother] up to seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22)
No, he’d better be grateful I forgave him once, the scumbag!”

Never mind who likely needs forgiveness 490 plus!

So, all of us who really want to know the Bible. Does it sound more like we no the Bible?

Never mind that way of thinking. We should be saying a humble resounding “YES”!

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FUN FACT: We moose are named from the Algonquien Eastern Abnaki “moz” which means “twig eater.” The Algonquiens believed that anyone who dreamed of moose would have a long life. I can’t blame you if you say no to that one! But I do recommend that in your Bible study you stick to the trunk of the tree rather than get hung up on twiggy issues.

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The Prodigal Cat

Breaking news!  We were worried!

We have 2 cats. The neutered male, Panger, has long black fur and the handsomest white belly you just cannot resist wanting to rub. He is so friendly to people and dogs and has no fear. He helps himself to somebody else’s doggy door and greets those inside. He roams the neighborhood, thankfully checking in from time to time to tease us with his presence, talk to us about his escapades and gas up for another round.

Oh, please, Panger! Why won’t you stay in the yard where you’d be safe and always with us. But he demands his freedom and insists on carousing.

Last Thursday night at some unknown hour of mischief, Panger snuck out and missed curfew. Oh well, what else is new, our wayward son is gaddingabout, and we didn’t give it much thought, he’ll be curled up in his chair in the morn.  Alas, no sign of him pushing open the bedroom door before daybreak and demanding breakfast!  Time to worry.

Did he wander too far? To the hogbacks where a coyote would have feasted? Cat-nabbed by an adoring child?

With each day no Panger, our fears for the worst took on life. Did he go to a country far away where he wasted his 9 lives in reckless living? Did some pig farmer have him in slavery, with our poor Panger wasting away shunning the unclean? Thankfully our pudge had a few pounds to play with because he had just returned from apartment life in Denver.

We tried to get on with life but our minds were constantly thinking of our wayward son. From the first night, we’d go outside in a stupor and call out “Pangerrrrrrrrr!” and who knows how many times we repeated this act of pathetic desperation. In the past Panger would somehow hear our cries afar and come grace us with his favor.

Friday we walked all around the neighborhood and thankfully found no dead body. A call to the Humane Society turned up no leads. That’s ok, somebody has him trapped in their home and Panger is good at timing a bustout through open legs at an open door.

Our spayed female, Josie, never a worry, immediately knew her wandering brother was missing. Instead of being jealous over all the attention going Panger’s way, Josie assumed stakeout in the backyard by the fence scanning for first look. She looked like she was joining us in vigil prayer.

Today a week later that feels like eternity the Humane Society called with the thrilling news that they had a cat matching our description! We drove over and it was our Prodigal Cat! We were challenged to forgive because it turns out they were the ones who nabbed Panger. He was hanging out at the wrong time and place with some feral cats a block away on Mystic Avenue and got scooped up in the sting.

We fell on his neck and kissed him — on his irresistible white nose. We will bring his favorite blanky and wrap him up warm. We’ll kill the fatted can of salmon and feast on hugs and belly rubs.

For this cat of ours was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.

Oh yeah, instead of putting a ring on his paw, we’ll put an address and phone tag on his neck so poor Panger won’t ever be a prodigal cat again.

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FUN FACT: Bears, wolves and cougars! Oh my! Half of our young calves don’t live beyond 6 weeks. But our biggest threat is collision with your cars. Be warned because you might feel more like the one runover! Thankfully you don’t have to worry about us sneaking in your doggy door. Welcome home, Panger!

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Thank you for sharing this blog with your friends and family!
Your encouragement will keep me writing and you’ll have only yourself to blame!